Unfortunately, even in Israel, there are places one can't allow children the freedom and independence I consider so vital. That's especially the case in southern Israel, to where for years, the nearby Arab terrorists have been aiming their missiles.
A couple of posts ago, I posted a very moving video by Dana, a young woman from Kibbutz Nir-Am. Sara Shomron, who also posts on this blog, found me an article by Dana's mother. I highly suggest that you read the entire article. Here are a few passages:
Living with Kassamson Kibbutz Nir-Am
"...Nir-Am’s location - between the Northern Negev town of Sderot and Beit Hanoun, the Palestinian town where most of the Kassam rocket attacks originate - has been devastating for our community and has turned a small piece of heaven into a living hell. Every bomb that falls in Sderot travels over our kibbutz, and almost every bomb that falls short, falls in Nir-Am, bothin the living areas and in our fields. Nir-Am has suffered more attacks than any other communityoutside of Sderot. Since 2000, 90 Kassam bombs have fallen among the houses and childrens’ houses of Nir-Am and another 500 have fallen in the surrounding fields, killing livestock and setting our crops on fire. When the news reports speak of bombs falling in ‘open areas’ it usually means that they have fallen in Nir-Am.
The attacks are unprovoked, unpredictable and continuous, and their effect has been close to catastrophic for us, both economically and psychologically. Our every action, our every waking moment, is geared toward minimizing the impact of living under enemy fire. Our first concern is always for our elderly and our children...
...The effect has been most obvious on our children. At home, bedwetting, aggressive behavior, extreme mood swings, insomnia, loss of appetite... and at school, lack of concentration, absenteeism, hyperactivity, outbursts of anger and physical and verbal aggression. But no one is spared the psychological warfare of which we are all victims, almost as many adults are in counseling as are children in an attempt to cope with the harsh reality of our daily lives. In fact, as parents we carry the additional burden of guilt for not being able to protect our children, we feel responsible for what is happening to them...
...And so to our personal Chanukah miracle. On the first day of Chanukah this year, at 6.30am, a Kassam bomb fell less than five meters from where my son Gabi and daughter Mayan were sleeping. I had been busy in my home office when the Tzeva Adom alarm sounded. I could not hear the children running for our little “safe corner” and I immediately realized that they had not heard the alarm and were still asleep in their beds, even as the bomb was on its way from Gaza. I ran in the direction of their bedroom, shouting for them to wake up, as I reached the bedroom door they jumped from their beds but a second later the bomb struck..."